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Banana Hobby's BlitzRCWorks 9 Ch 1.2m F4U Corsair ARF Review

This 1200mm Corsair comes with electronically folding wings, flaps, retracts and LED lights. Wake up Pappy! We have a mission to fly! Then fold the wings. retract the gear, transport her home and store her mission ready for next time.

Splash

Introduction


Wingspan: 1200mm (47.2")
Flying Weight: 2360g (83.2) oz.
Length: 981mm (38.6")
Width Wings Folded: 24"
Height Wings Folded: 14" retracts up
Servos: 10 x 17g Digital Metal Servos
Transmitter: JR 11X 2.4GHz
Receiver: JR921X 9 CH 2.4GHz
Battery: 4S 2200mAh 25C
Motor: 3748-700KV
ESC: 50Amp Brushless with BEC
Propeller: 12 x 6 3-Bladed propeller
Manufacturer: BlitzRCWorks
Available From: Banana Hobby
Price: $299.90 ARF

I was very happy to get a chance to assemble and review this Corsair as I wanted to check out the wings and see how well the folding mechanism works. (It works great!) I was curious how secure the wings were in flight (No Problem!) and when they are folded for storage on the carrier. The recent BlitzRCWorks Wildcat proved to be a very well designed plane with manually folding wings. It transports and stores well with the wings folded and the wings lock in place and she flies great. I and some flying buddies were very interested to see if the Corsair, with its electrical folding wings, will work as well for transportation, storage and flying (She Does!). The Corsair's wing was also designed for quick removal and if necessary I could have gone the traditional route for transporting and storing with the wing off. I am glad to be able to keep her in one piece for storage and transportation as I love that type of convenience. She is a nice size with a wingspan of just over 47" and she comes with drop tanks and rockets. I will fly with the rockets on her but not with the tanks as I like the tankless look much better. But other pilots can fly with or without as they see fit.

I don't have to use a nine channel receiver/transmitter but to power everything I will need nine channels to plug connectors into so it is nine channels or I would need to use some extra Y-harnesses to power everything. I will discuss that more in the Radio Section of the review. Fortunately, I have a nine channel Spectrum receiver available to use in this review and so I am good to go once the plane arrives.

The plane has arrived and I want to share a few first impressions. The amount of pre-assembly is fantastic! The wing arrive ready to be bolted to the fuselage. The control horns were already installed and the control surfaces connected to the servos in the wing. I am also impressed by how nice the machine guns and air intakes look in the wing and they have even painted motor exhaust on the wing and fuselage. The wing simply mounts to the fuselage and the two drop tanks snap into place. Even the rockets came already installed. I haven't read the instruction manual yet but it looks like the vertical and horizontal stabilizer will also bolt on and the have additional details on the stabilizers and control surfaces. I think plugging in the wires to the receiver may be the longest part of the assembly. I am impressed! But that is just a first impression and not a conclusion...yet.

Kit Contents

Kit Contents

  • Fully assembled wing ready to bolt onto the fuselage
  • Two drop tanks that snap into place
  • Horizontal stabilizer and elevator with special detail
  • Vertical Stabilizer and hinged rudder with special detail
  • Fuselage fully assembled
  • 3-Bladed scale propeller
  • Bag of hardware and a few scale parts to install
  • Long thin Phillips screwdriver
  • Instruction manual

Items I supplied

  • JR 11X transmitter
  • JR921X 9-channel receiver
  • 4-cell 2200mAh battery packs
  • Balanced LiPo battery pack charger

Assembly

This assembly looks so straight forward and simple I decided to make a special assembly video combining video and series of still shots during assembly. I enjoyed the assembly and shooting the video and pictures. Putting it together reminded me why I don't do this style of video very often.

Banana Hobby 9 CH Corsair Assembly (10 min 44 sec)

Assembly Video

Downloads

Tail

The elevators and the rudder needed to have the control horns mounted to the control surfaces. There were two control horns for the elevators and one for the rudder. In the video I showed the elevator control horns secured with two screws each. One in the front and one in back across from it. In actuality eight screws were supplied and I used four on one side and three on the other. One of the mounting plates only had three holes and I didn't have any drills with me at my office where the assembly took place. I show the four + three screws in a picture below and the four used on the rudder control horn. I used 11-screws to attach the control horn normally 12-screws would be used in this part of the assembly.

The two clevises for the elevators arrived with bent pins and would not close properly. Fortunately, they included extra clevises and those worked just fine. When final trim had been achieved I doubly secured these clevises with thread tied around the clevis. Probably not necessary but supplied me with piece of mind.

Fuselage

The fuselage came fully assembled except for a few small details that will be attached as part of the plane's completion project. The real assembly was attaching the stabilizers and the wing. These were simple bolt on procedures. However, to secure the stabilizers I first had to lower the retracted tail wheel. So off camera I connected up and bound my 9-channel JR receiver to my JR 11X transmitter. To do this I plugged the UBEC into the receiver to power it. I properly placed the binding plug into the receiver. When that was done I connected up the rudder to make sure I had control and plugged the rear tail gear retract into the retract controller and plugged the controller into channel five (the gear channel) on the receiver. I powered up the ESC with a four cell 2200mAh battery pack and bound the receiver to the transmitter. On the second cycle movement of the landing rear switch, the gear descended and I could mount the stabilizers.

I first secured the horizontal stabilizer with the two supplied screws. They supplied a long screw driver in the kit and it had a magnetic tip. That was needed to get the screws for the vertical stabilizer down into their respective mounting holes and I secured the vertical stabilizer.

With the stabilizers now attached I connected the two elevator control clevises to their respective control horns and the rudder clevis to the rudder control horn. In doing this I found the pins were no directly aligned with the securing hole on the other side of the clevis. I used a toothpick to push the pins out and in alignment with the securing hole on the opposite side of the clevis and with them aligned I squeezed them together. the tail assembly was complete and no glue was used.

Radio Installation: Part One

My hindsight is terrific! Having fully assembled my Corsair I recommend that you run the UBEC and the throttle wires down the first hole in the front of the wing saddle and back up through the back hole in the wing saddle. This way the wires are out of the way with just the connectors coming out at the back of the wing saddle. You can see in the initial pictures and the assembly video picture that I didn't do this but I have since taken the wing off of my fuselage and routed them that way. The best location for the receiver is the deep space at the back of the wing saddle and that is where mine is located.

The retracts and the lights have their own controllers. The retracts in the wing and the lights in the wing came already plugged into the controller. I needed to plug the tail wheel retract into the retract controller and the tail light (white) into the light controller. I had temporarily plugged the tail wheel retract into the controller and the controller into the receiver to lower the tail wheel so I could mount the stabilizers to the fuselage. I had disconnected that wiring after lowering the wheel to work on the tail assembly. After examining the wing saddle and the wing I concluded that the retract and the light controllers would remain just on top of the wing in the bottom of the wing saddle area. There is a trench in the middle of the wing where they fit nicely. With this decided I ran the retract and tail light wires through the whole in the back of the wing saddle and plugged them into their respective controllers.

The connecting wires for the controllers and all wing servo connectors that plug into the receiver were run through the back hole in the wing saddle into a recessed area in the back of the wing saddle in a sunken hole under the cockpit. I trimmed a little bit of plastic off of the rounded corners of the servo connectors (just a sliver on each side) so they would more easily plug into my JR receiver. I did not yet connect them to the receiver, I just got them trimmed and ready to connect.

Wing Installation

The wing installation was a simple process of mounting it to the fuselage with the four supplied 3 x 54mm bolts with two in front and two in back. For something so simple I do have some recommendations. Before trying to attach the wing to the fuselage run the bolts into the mounting holes in the fuselage. I had three go in smoothly and one went in part way and then fought me for awhile. Best to do this before trying to install the wing. The screws are somewhat soft metal and 3 x 54mm is not an easy size to find locally (NONE!), but Banana Hobby does sell them in a parts package for the wing hardware. I used a proper fitting screwdriver and tried to be careful not to strip the head of the bolts. I have my wing mounted tightly to the fuselage so I was basically successful.

The bolts slid through the wing nice and easy but they never seem to fall into the mounting hole in the fuselage for me on the first try. So I have developed a method that works for me. I align the wing in a level position over where it is going to mount leaving me about a 1/4 inch of viewing space between the wing and the fuselage. I need space to see the mounting holes in the fuselage from the side. With the bolts pushed down into the wing as far as they will go I can see the ends of the bolts and I can push the with a prod to get them aligned with their mounting holes in the fuselage. I start screwing them into the wing to get the started. With the bolts properly positioned I push down on the wing making sure the wires are all in the middle channel and none are out of place and then I start tightening the bolts working my way around all four of them in a circular pattern slowly tightening them taking about four trips around the circle of bolts until they are all tightened flush. I have found this helps all of them to tighten evenly. The wing was now attached and all of the servo connectors are in the back of the area under the cockpit.

Radio Installation: Part 2

Starting with the throttle connector I plugged them into the receiver in order. It really helped that I had made a sliver trim of the connectors on the two rounded corners as my receiver needed that extra clearance for the connectors to fit in easily. My servos are connected to my Spectrum 9 channel receiver as follows:

1) Throttle 2) Ailerons 3) Elevators 4) Rudder/steerable tail wheel 5) Landing gear retracts/with door sequencer 6) Flaps 7) Wing folding mechanism 8) LEDs 9) Empty UBEC in battery connector channel

I secured the receiver to the bottom of the fuselage with some Velcro and the satellite receiver was secured to the fuselage side with Velcro as well. The receiver was now fully connected and installed.

Completion

The three blade propeller slides on to the propeller shaft and snugly fits onto a nut at the back of the shaft. A nice shinny scale looking and weighted spinner nut secures the blade by being tightened down nice and tight.

Flying

Basics

My Corsair has six channel control with: throttle, ailerons, elevator, rudder, landing gear and flaps. She can be flown with the drop tanks attached or without as I prefer. (The tanks do add drag and slow down her top speed and slightly affect her axial roll.) The rocket racks can be removed by being unscrewed but then the wing folding mechanism will be more visible. I like the look of the rockets and all flights have been and mine will be made with the rockets on the wing.The flaps are two working sections on each side and not three as on a full scale Corsair. They look scale like with the flaps up but they do look different with flaps down. The third section is actually a split aileron and so the plane has four aileron servos with two per side. In flight I didn't experience any adverse viewing in this wing section working as an aileron nor did any of my friends seem to notice this at all in flight. As far as function the flaps worked fine. They did allow for slower flight and would be helpful in landing on a short runway.

I have noticed some additional drag flying with wheels down as the plane does slow down when the gear rolls out. The door sequencing, the gear going up and the doors closing is a nice little show experienced on each flight. I like to fly her down as if setting up for a landing way down flied and hit the retracts so that it all happens on one long pass over the runway and the same when dropping the gear at the end og the flight. The nice slow speed of the operation looks very nice. I have no idea if it is actually at all scale like but it is what I picture in mind a as appropriate and that seems to be pretty universal as everyone has enjoyed watching the gear procedure with the doors opening and closing as well. People miss it if I do it on the down wind leg of the flight.

In the air she controls well with just the right stick but controls even better when adding in the rudder. Coordinated turns with ailerons and about 25% rudder and then a bit of up elevator look very smooth and scale like in my mind. I have mix on my transmitter but I just use my thumbs for the mix. Do what you are comfortable with but do use them together to get the best turns.

Taking Off and Landing

All takeoffs have been in either calm conditions or basically into the wind. When there has been a slight cross wind I have been able to take off of the runway at a diagonal going into the wind. Some landings have had a slight cross wind but all have been uneventful. For takeoffs I like to accelerate slowly and get the rear wheel to lift up and stay on the ground with the mains for a bit longer before applying a touch of up elevator to get her airborne. Landings as stated should also be into the wind and should be made with the motor running but lowering the throttle through touch down and finally killing the throttle during the roll out or lowering it so much that the plane can easily and under control be turned to bring her back to the pits.

Part of the joy of owning this plane is folding and unfolding the wings. The wings can be folded or unfolded while taxiing. I like to taxi out to the runway with the wings up and unfold them there. I know that is not scale like as the wings greatly block the pilot's visibility. After landing it is fun to start them folding while taxiing in to the pits. Again, not scale like but everyone really seems to enjoy seeing that happen and so on the video you hear me shout out to Chris to fold the wings when he is taxiing her back.

Accelerating her smoothly she has showed no bad habits on take offs and lets me put on a show with the folding wing. Landing with power on but slowing down landings have all been uneventful. the slowly operating landing gear and the folding wings thus far attract attention.

I have only flown her from a paved field so far and that will likely continue for me.

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

The wing hinges have been so solid during flights that I almost forgot to talk about it. I have seen no wing flutter in high speed passes or my dives leading into passes. My dives have only been about 200 feet at most but the wing for my testing as been solid. It has looked for all the world as if it were a one piece wing in flight.

Fly her like a war bird and have fun. You can even work out a program in advance combining steep climbs,dives, high speed passes on the decks, inverted flight, loops large and small, axial and barrel rolls and split Ss and half pipe rudder turns at the end of a climb. She does them all and she does them nicely. Her speed is completely acceptable for me but I know some of you will wish she was faster. To that end I just say watch the video and she how she flies. The recommend 4-cell battery pretty much fills the front of the cockpit. While a longer battery could be fitted in and tail weight added carving would be necessary to fit in a five cell pack and I recommend against trying it.

Is This For a Beginner?

No! This plane is designed for the intermediate or better pilot. While an adult beginner can assemble it, it is not for the beginner pilot to fly.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery

Banana Hobby 9 CH Corsair in Flight (4 min 25 sec)

Downloads

Conclusion

This was one of the easiest warbirds to assemble that I have ever reviewed or owned. As mentioned in the introduction I like the details. Let me add to those items mentioned previously that the fit of the doors and the landing gear is excellent and they work very nicely as well. The wing folding mechanism that is special for this plane also works well and helps make storage and transportation in the RTF mode very easy even in my limited space car. I transport and store her with the gear and wings both up. At the field i just lower the landing gear and she is ready to fly.

She flies very nicely using the recommended 4-cell 2200 mAh battery pack and that pack balances her on the desired C/G. There is space for a longer pack but then balance might be an issue requiring counter weight in the tail. I am happy with using the recommend battery pack. Landing and switching packs is not a problem for me as watching the slowly dropping gear is part of the fun of this plane. The landing gear and wing folding mechanism have worked perfectly throughout this review. I very honestly could not be happier about how this plane assembled and the workings of the mechanics.

From take-off to landing she has been a joy in the air. She performs a great loop with sufficient power for a nice high climb before rolling over.at the top. She can do a nice tight axial roll and I have done nice barrel rolls and half pipes. Top speed is good, certainly adequate, but not blazing fast. Chris flew her for the video before our club's annual jet rally and everyone enjoyed her and lots of pilot's asked about where she was sold and how much she cost. My only negative about her honestly hasn't even been noticed by many of my friends until I commented on it and that it that she has split ailerons (four servos) and the flaps are two sections on each side of the fuselage not three. She looks like a corsair with the flaps up and slightly different with the flaps down. Now I know that is there but in normal flying I don't give it much thought. Our runway is so long I don't need to use flaps and this plane lands so nicely I only used them as everything should be tests for a review and they worked effectively for flaps and let her fly a little more slowly. With the exception of the flap issue I find this plane to be a complete winner. Just bolt her together and go flying.

With her approximate 4' wingspan she travels and stores well with the wings folded and puts on a great show on the ground with the wings and in the air with her landing gear and sequencing doors. While in the air she flies very nicely. I would much rather have this plane then say a simple Zero and a Corsair with fixed gear for the same money. The great thing about this hobby is that we all get to decide for ourselves what we want. I can honestly report that I wanted this plane and I am very glad I have her. I just hope that Banana Hobby keeps her in stock for years years to come just in case I wear her out somewhere down the road. She has a very high fun quotient that puts a smile on everyone's face, especially the pilot's.

As my friends know, I have planes that I buy after being impressed with how nice they look and how well they fly. I can honestly report had I just been an observer of this review and having seen the plane fly in person, this is one that I would have bought.

Pluses & Minuses

Pluses

  • The ARF bolts together! Glue is only used to attach some small detail parts
  • The retracts and doors work and look great
  • The wing folding mechanism works great, including in flight where it has been solid
  • Pilot painted in multiple colors comes installed
  • Only requires a four cell 2200mAh battery pack
  • Very nice scale details
  • High level of pre-assembly means quick final assembly
  • Paint and finish look good

Minuses

  • What is the third split flap on the full bird is a split aileron on this RC version.
  • Rocket tail fins not secured to the rockets and needed to be glued to keep them on the rockets.
  • Elevator clevises had bent pins. Fortunately, they included replacement clevises.
  • For the proper scale look the wing tips should be higher in line with the propeller hub.
  • Tail hook dropped down too far initially. Since video I corrected with a piece of thread.

Parting Photos

Here are two pictures of my folding wing WWII carrier fighter planes from Banana Hobby. The Corsair and the WildCat in pre-war colors. Both use 4-cell 2200mAh battery packs.

Thanks

My thanks to Banana Hobby for supplying this plane for review. My thanks to my friend Chris for flying the demonstration flight so that I could shoot some pictures and video. Thanks to our editor Angela for her assistance with this article.

Last edited by Michael Heer; Nov 11, 2013 at 05:08 AM..

Discussion

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Old Nov 08, 2013, 06:04 AM
North Central Positronics
badbill's Avatar
USA, GA, Centerville
Joined Dec 2002
3,314 Posts
GREAT review! That's the way to do it, I can't think of a question I would want to ask.

Bill Davenport
AMA 28141
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 06:16 AM
Gentle 'Bella'
gnats82's Avatar
Augusta, KS USA
Joined Dec 2007
4,573 Posts
You show what appears to be the advertised flying weight of 83+ ounces. Have you actually weighed it?
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 06:59 AM
Upstanding Member
Kurt's Avatar
United States, TX, Houston
Joined Sep 2003
1,807 Posts
Nice photos!
Some close ups of the LG, main wheels and inside of LG doors when extended would be cool. Since the LG is typically a weak point their operation and "sturdiness" is worthy of particular attention IMO.

Didn't see any mention of cg, guess it was good out of the box.
Brief mention of the initial elevator throws, and any adjustments needed, would be nice.

How long are you flying on a 2200mAh battery, with how much capacity remaining?

Also a pic of the interior with battery installed wouldn't hurt.

Second on the question about flying weight, max motor/prop thrust would also be interesting.

Those cleviseses look pretty wimpy, would have expected slightly better ones on a $300 mid sized foamie.
Too bad they couldn't shoot the cleviseses with some of the same blue paint that's on the wings, theyir grey color really stand out on the top side

Is the motor cowling removable, for access to the motor mount?

How bright are the LEDs? At all visible during the day?

Nice flying in the video, 240p is a blast from the past
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Last edited by Kurt; Nov 08, 2013 at 07:05 AM.
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 07:07 AM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,368 Posts
I have weighed most of it. The plane with a good layer of dust on her after a day at the field weighed 4 lbs 9.5 ounces with rockets but no drop tanks. I was using my Dymo electric mail scale which has a five pound maximum limit. I weighed the ROC 4-cell 2200 mAh battery pack and it weighed in at 8.1 ounces. That gave me a weight of 81.6 ounces. I had already packed away the drop tanks and did not get them out to weigh them so I found the 83.2 ounce figure to be acceptable as individual planes will be slightly different. I hope that is satisfactory. Mike Heer
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 07:18 AM
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Kurt's Avatar
United States, TX, Houston
Joined Sep 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Heer View Post
That gave me a weight of 81.6 ounces. I had already packed away the drop tanks and did not get them out to weigh them so I found the 83.2 ounce figure to be acceptable as individual planes will be slightly different. I hope that is satisfactory. Mike Heer
WOW, heavy bird!!

My 1.5m JPower P-38 with 2700mAh 4S battery, all metal LG, glued-in carbon fiber reinforcement everywhere and double the motors/ESCs/props weighs in at 4.25lbs (68oz).

That Corsair's a chunker!
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 07:28 AM
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Michael Heer's Avatar
Stockton, Ca. USA
Joined Apr 2001
9,368 Posts
Hi Kurt:
I meant to include flying time. I average 6 minutes of flying time and on landing the battery has about 24% capacity remaining. It of course depends on your use of throttle and I mix mine up.
I notice the LEDs and the landing lights when the plane is on the ground. All of my flying has been in the bright California sun and I don't notice them in the air but on occasion. If it was overcast I am certain I could notice them more. I have taxied it in the street at twilight and she looked great. The local kids thought I was going to fly her in the street but I disappointed them by only taxiing in the street.
I discussed the clevises in my review. I used spares for the elevator. They were color matched and have worked fine but the original ones on the elevator had bent pins. I think the color match you are talking about concerns the control horn plates seen on the top side of the wing. Now that the review is over I will be painting them dark blue.
C/G was right per the instructions right out of the box. It was given as 78mm back from the leading edge of the wing. That is where I started and stayed. Throws were acceptable as she came. There where no throw recommendations posted for either high or low rate. Chris wanted some exponential for the elevator when he flew so that has been dialed in at that time. I will take a picture with the battery in place and post that here tonight or this weekend. Banana Hobby has a lot of pictures of her on their website and I have copied some to post here to show you the landing gear. Mike H
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Last edited by Michael Heer; Nov 08, 2013 at 08:49 AM.
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 09:07 AM
RCGroups Editor
Matt Gunn's Avatar
United States, OH, Parma
Joined Jul 2009
4,819 Posts
man, this is one scaled out foamie! Attention to detail is great, right down to the painted wheel wells and tail hook.

The exhaust lines leave a little to be desired though...

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Old Nov 08, 2013, 10:45 AM
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yorkiepap's Avatar
SW PA
Joined Aug 2010
425 Posts
With the pics posted so far, it appears that the LG needs a tad more forward rake. I found with my smaller F4U's, having the center of the wheel aligned to the wings' leading edge would enhance landing & avoid tip-overs. Is it possible to alter the rake on this model?

Denny
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 05:12 PM
Trees Are Stupid
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United States, KY, Louisville
Joined Sep 2013
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I love Corsairs. Most places I've been, this turkey gets bad reviews.
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 07:12 PM
Registered User
Canada's East Coast, "An Ocean Playground"
Joined Apr 2002
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..quote, "The wing folding mechanism works great, including in flight where it has been solid..

..really, how often did you fold the wings while in flight..? Not more than once I would suggest..!


Bill
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 07:26 PM
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Im pretty sure he means that it held solid in flight
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 07:51 PM
DWA
John 3:16
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South Orange County,CA.
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What a great Corsair!!!
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 08:59 PM
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Canada's East Coast, "An Ocean Playground"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webdr View Post
Im pretty sure he means that it held solid in flight
Ok...so it's not the "folding mechanism" that's working great while in flight, but rather that it does not work while in flight..! Perhaps the wing folding electrical circuit should become open once the throttle is operated 10%.

Bill
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Old Nov 08, 2013, 09:41 PM
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United States, TN, Jackson
Joined Mar 2007
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With the outboard flaps that you said were split ailerons---Why couldn't the outboard "flaps" be configured as flaps instead of split ailerons as stated in your review???...Seems to be an easy fix to make scale flaps...

Kevin
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